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Biff America: The day before Election Day

Jeffrey Bergeron
newsroom@vaildaily.com
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyJeffrey Bergeron
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VAIL, Colorado “

“Have you voted yet?”

Johnny called to ask me that just last week.



When I told him I had, he cursed and said, “OK, I guess now we will have to.” John added, “I hoped to save us a bike ride to the polls for early voting.”

John and I go through this same routine every election year. We’ve known each other for more than two decades and I don’t think we have voted the same way on any of the major candidates or issues.



Because of our polar opposition on just about everything political, my friend brags that he and his wife’s votes nullify my mate’s and mine.

Other than that, he is a good guy.

Occasionally John will propose a pact of non-voting. He will argue that if Ellen and I would not vote, he and Jenny would likewise stay home, thus saving us the time and energy that it takes to cast our ballots.



This would make sense, except I don’t trust Johnny to keep up his end of the bargain.

So deep is my mistrust that, when he called, I was tempted to fib by telling him we had not yet voted. My reasoning was, if he believed me, he would stay home and my favored candidates and initiatives would have a leg up. Unfortunately, like many conservatives, John has a deep suspicion of liberals.

This was one of the many times in life when I wish I had followed my first inclination and lied.

I am pecking this column out on Monday morning the day before the election; my goal is to finish it before the results are in.

The only thing we now know for sure is our next president will be left handed.

Anyone who regularly reads my scribbles can guess who I support. But that said, if my man doesn’t win, I won’t be nearly as distraught as I was after W won the last election. Though I hope and pray that Obama becomes our Commander and Chief, our country could do a lot worse than having McCain in the oval office.

Of course, this is providing that John McCain remains healthy. If he doesn’t then Sarah Palin will have her finger on the nuclear button.

I don’t blame Senator McCain for choosing Palin for a running mate, I only wish it wasn’t necessary.

American elections are like beauty pageants, in order to win you must hide your warts.

McCain could not simply run on his character, honesty, heroics and history of service to this country. There is no doubt he has all those attributes and more, but he wasn’t conservative enough to energize the pro-God, anti-gay, pro-life, anti global warming, pro-gun camp.

In order to pay lip-service to the Evangelicals and social neo-cons, they had to bring in Palin. Though she hasn’t one tenth of McCain’s credentials and character, she does appeal to the religious right and the family values conservatives; plus she is hot.

Historically a VP choice is used to round out the ticket. In other words, you choose a running mate who will fill in any void of experience short comings, or geographical weaknesses of the perspective president. JFK chose LBJ; W picked Cheney. John Kerry picked Edwards because as a perceived Northern dilettante, he needed a conservative southerner with nice hair to balance out his ticket.

The sad truth is McCain needed Palin.

The fault doesn’t lie just with McCain ” our election system is to blame.

Had Obama agreed to matching funds, McCain would not have been so financially desperate. If America’s election process was more like Great Britain or Canada’s, where campaigning is limited to a brief time period and both candidates are allotted the same amount of funds and there are no 527’s, our electorate would be better served.

And most importantly, voters would support who they felt would be the best leader of our nation rather than the one who supports or opposes their pet social issues; candidates would feel less inclined use fear, emotion and negativity as talking points.

By Wednesday morning I’ll know if, in my lifetime, our nation evolved from one of state-sanctioned segregation to one where an African American is President. That would be my choice and my bias. It will also drive John nuts, which is a good thing …

Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of Biff America, can be seen on RSN TV and read in several newspapers and magazines. He can be reached at biffbreck@yahoo.com.

Biff’s book “Steep, Deep and Dyslexic” is available from local book stores or at Backcountrymagazine.com.


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